A seventy-four-year-old composer of the National Youth Service Corps anthem, Dr Oluwole Adetiran, burst into tears on Thursday during the visit of the Director-General of the NYSC, Brig. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, to his house in Ibafo, Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The septuagenarian, who composed the song in 1984, said he was moved that he was finally remembered 37 years after he composed the song.
He lamented that he had been suffering from diseases, including hypertension, diabetes and prostate cancer since 2018.
Adetiran, who studied music at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, recalled that he composed the anthem in 1984 while he was a corps member in Oyo State.
He said, “I was the leader of an NYSC group called ‘the anthem group’ and the then chief inspector saddled us with the responsibility of composing an anthem for the NYSC.
“I went home and spent quality time to compose the anthem to the admiration of all and I still have the manuscripts till today.”
Adetiran who rendered the anthem with a special choir commended the DG for the visit which he considered as a mark of honour.
Adetiran, who is the national Music Director of the Celestial Church of Christ, said it was unbelievable that NYSC DG would visit him in his small abode.
“I thank God for opening a book of remembrance concerning me for my labour of love,” he added.
Adetiran was the Head of Music Department at the Polytechnic Ibadan, between 2003 and 2007 and retired as a lecturer in 2008.
Earlier, Ibrahim said he learnt on Saturday through social media, that the composer of the NYSC’s anthem was seriously ill and he thought that the man deserved to be visited.
He said, “I decided to follow up on the phone number that was dropped on the social media, made my investigations and decided to come here from Abuja for visit.”
Ibrahim said Adetiran was a patriotic Nigerian whose contributions to the scheme through the song could not be quantified, adding that the song which would live beyond him.
He said, “This visit is partly to encourage our corps members and our youths that when you serve and honour your country, then your country will not forget you.”
The NYSC boss, who presented an undisclosed cash gift to Adetiran, assured him that the agency would not abandon him.